Won’t you join us for some tea?

Tea and food have always made for excellent partners. Not unlike food and wine pairings, tea can complement and enhance the flavours in a dish. 

Each tea pairing we’ll be sharing has been specially selected by our roster of tea experts. You can read about them below.

Each will feature one tea and up to two dishes. You can try one dish or both — you decide! You can make the dish at home — we’ll provide recipes — or you can order it from your favourite restaurant or bistro! We simply want you to participate in the pairing whichever way you can and share your impressions with the VIVA community. 

If you share your life with another tea lover, whether family or friend, you can participate together either in real life or virtually. 

How to share your tea pairing experience

  • Share on Instagram. If you’re on Instagram, take a photo of your pairing and include your pairing notes in the post. Tag @vivascandinavia and use the hashtag #teapairing so we can easily find your post.
  • Share on Facebook. Post your pairing impressions (and a photo if you like) in our Perfect Blend Facebook Group. Not a member yet? It’s easy to join. Simply click on this link and join the group.

What information to include

First of all, tell us whether or not you enjoyed it. Did you try more than one pairing? Which was your favourite?

Share some of your pairing notes. (See below)

Did you complete the tea pairing with a fellow tea lover? Then share that with us. Take a photo (or a screen shot of you and your tea partner if you did a virtual tea event). 

We’ll feature some of our favourites with the VIVA community in an upcoming blog post.

Pairing notes – a beginner’s guide

Have a paper and pen ready to jot down your thoughts. Consider the appearance, colour, aromas, flavour, and mouthfeel of the tea. 

Some vocabulary to keep in mind when describing what your senses experience: 

  • acidic
  • bitter
  • salty
  • sweet
  • umami
  • silky
  • creamy
  • mellow
  • rough
  • velvety
  • smooth
  • robust
  • astringent
  • full-bodied

Prepare the tea pairing

Make sure you have enough space and accoutrements to explore the tea both dry and steeped. Begin by studying and smelling the dry tea leaves. Take notes of the look and feel. Then close your eyes to focus on the scent.

Next, steep your tea. Examine the infused tea leaves; observe the liquor’s color and aroma.

Finally, sip and analyze its texture, flavors and mouth feel. 

Next try the food. Take a bite. Note the smell, taste, texture, and flavors. Then introduce the tea with the food. Take a bite followed by a sip. Layer the pairing together. What do you notice? 

Did they enhance or take away from each other?

Read also: How to host a tea tasting

Our tea experts

Shabnam Weber

Shabnam Weber has spent the last twenty years in the tea business as an entrepreneur. As owner of a specialty tea company, a tea school and a Director on the Board of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, she has a unique perspective on multiple angles of the tea business. She is the author of THAC’s well known and recognized Tea Sommelier® program and a big driver in both consumer and industry education. Shabnam values the diversity offered by all parts of the tea industry, both in Canada and beyond and focuses always on the bigger picture.

Theresa Lemieux

Theresa Lemieux is a Tea and Herbal Association of Canada Certified Tea Sommelier and food blogger at The Everything Kitchen, where she cooks and bakes with tea. She drinks tea all day, every day, in an effort to learn more about the many wonderful types of tea produced around the world. Whatever your cup of tea, Theresa can help you find it.  Your can find Theresa on Instagram @the_everything_kitchen.ca/ and Facebook at theeverythingkitchen.

Katie Cyr

Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I’m so glad you’re here. My first experience with tea comes in the memory of drinking Irish Breakfast with my grandmother out of delicate teacups.  Today, I carry the same reverence and passion for the art of tea into my day to day life. I founded The Monarch Tea Co. in March 2014 with the vision of bringing together the traditional eloquence of tea time with a modern twist.

Today I’m a certified Tea Sommelier through Mohawk College and the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada.  My interactive tea talks have been taught worldwide in person and online in homes, corporate events and places passionate about food and beverage such as Goodness Me! And LCBO. I’ve had my work published in Tea Time! magazine , UK Tea & Herbal Magazine and spoken at the RBG Tea Festival & Toronto Tea Fest. 

Needless to say I’m obsessed with all things tea and so excited to connect with others through this remarkable beverage. My favourite tea varies from season to season, but I do love a good cuppa Cream Earl Grey or Genmaicha green tea the most. Please don’t be shy in reaching out and saying hello. I’d love to chat tea with you! You can find more about Monarch Tea Co. at www.moarchteaco.com and @monarchteaco on Instagram

Quick links
  • How to share your tea pairing experience
  • What information to include
  • Pairing notes - a beginner’s guide
  • Prepare the tea pairing
  • Our tea experts